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To Niles Canyon 12/5/2020

by Chris Guenzler

The Niles Canyon Railway sent out an e-mail announcing a photo freight charter with the Skookum with proceeds going to restore Southern Pacific 2-6-0 1744. Elizabeth and I both jumped at this opportunity and invited Robin Bowers and Chris Parker to accompany us. They both said "yes" and then asked us to make their hotel reservations for them which we did. On the morning of the trip, Robin drove to Santa Ana and parked his car in the parking structure, where we picked him up. I drove up to Los Angeles to pick up Chris Parker at Union Station. From here we drove to the rest stop at the top of Tejon Pass before going up Interstate 5 to CA-43 where we made the first stop of the morning in Shafter.

The Red Wagon Cafe, former Pacific Electric car 466, is now closed and the owner is selling the property. I hope that this is not the end of this car. I drove us next to Wasco.

The fenced-in Wasco station which is still an Amtrak stop but passengers cannot use the station. It was built in 2006.

BNSF 7234 East at the approach signal for Elmo. Our next stop was Allensworth.

Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe wooden boxcar 1332 used a station at Allensworth.

Our gang at Allensworth.

BNSF 6501 East with DPUs 4475 and 1056 at Allensworth. From here we drove to Corcoran where Robin shot the station before we headed to the north end of Corcoran for our next train.

BNSF 6929 East at Corcoran. We then drove north to South Hanford to show Robin and Chris the SD40T-2s we had photographed in October.

Progress Rail SD40T-2 2941 and SD40T-2 2925, both former Southern Pacific units.

BNSF 7391 East at Houston Avenue in Hanford.

The lone remaining Hanford wig-wag signal.

The San Francisco and San Joaquin Valley Railroad (later Santa Fe) Hanford station built in 1897. Our next stop was Lemoore.

The Southern Pacific station in Lemoore which is actually from Strathmore and built in 1910. We then drove to Selma for lunch at The Habit which we ate outside before we went to Pioneer Park which was closed but we parked at the Cattleman's Restaurant parking lot to take pictures of the station.

The Selma Southern Pacific station built in 1888. This is the original station for the town.

The modern Southern Pacific Selma station, now used by the Selma Police Department. Our next stop was Fowler.

The Southern Pacific station in Fowler built in 1883. From here we took Robin to Calwa so he could get a photograph of the station there and then we went wig-wag hunting in Fresno.

The eastern wig-wag signal on Van Ness and California Streets in Fresno.

The wig-wag signal at Broadway and Cherry.

San Joaquin Valley Railroad BL20-2 2122.

The third wig-wag signal at Hamilton and Fulton. We then drove the short distance to the arch on Van Ness Avenue.

Fresno - The Best Little City In The U.S.A. Van Ness Avenue Entrance. We then went to the Amtrak station.

The Santa Fe Fresno Amtrak station built in 1899. Our second to the last stop here was the other station in Fresno.

The Southern Pacific Fresno station, built 1926, which was the hardest station to photograph. Next we went to Roeding Park on Belmont Street.

Southern Pacific 0-6-0 1238 on display. It was then on to Chowchilla.

The Southern Pacific station in Chowchilla, built 1913, now VFW Post 9896.

Railroad equipment in front of this station. From here we drove to Turlock.

The Tidewater and Southern station in Turlock.

Sunset in Turlock.

Southern Pacific Turlock station. Elizabeth then drove us the rest of the way to Pleasanton where we checked into the Best Western Plus before we went to the Black Bear Diner for an outdoor dinner. We came back, checked the Internet before writing the story and called it a night.